Many rich literary, artistic and performance experiences have shaped my work. My mother was a productive artist and designer. From an early age I studied the piano and took art classes like all the five children in my creative family. As a serious young pianist and university student in Paris, a rich, cultural world was opened up to me. Continuing academic studies, I received my BA/MA in French at the University of Chicago, and eventually went on to get my Ph.D. in French Literature at Columbia University spending two years in Paris on a French Government research grant. My art practice was honed while taking studio art classes at Columbia and elsewhere in New York. For many years, I studied classical and modern dance with Merce Cunningham in New York and practice qi gong and kundalini yoga. I have been inspired by many painters, artisans, musicians, designers, graffiti artists and photographers. Jazz, modern and classical music of all traditions and genres continues to nourish my art projects. An intrepid adventurer, I have traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, South America, India and Southeast Asia. I live in New York City, a rich and unique multi-cultural center filled with opportunities for constant learning and growth.
EDUCATION, FORMAL ART TRAINING
Columbia University, New York, Fine Arts Independent Study, 2002-2010
School of Visual Arts, New York, 2007, 2012
Cooper Union, New York, 2006, 2007, 2012
Greenwich House Pottery, New York, 2006
Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Massachusetts, summer 2005
Columbia University, New York, Ph.D., 1998
The University of Chicago, BA/ MA, 1977
EXHIBITIONS AND CATALOG
Solo Exhibition, Blanden Memorial Art Museum, Fort Dodge, Iowa, “Daniel Johnson: Digital Prints & Paintings”, 2013. Exhibition catalog
“ArtTakes Miami: 1,001 Artists Project” Scope Art Show, Basel Miami, 2012
AGallery, Vineyard Haven, MA. Group Shows, 2012
The Drawing Center, New York City, “iPhone Digital Drawing Projections at the World Financial Center” New York City, 2010
My artistic vision combines ancient artisan traditions with contemporary digital technology creating new visions for the imagination. My current, unique, mixed media works on canvas and silk are inspired by medieval Moorish Islamic designs that I discovered in Spain and Morocco. Based on mathematical formulas with symbolic, spiritual, esoteric meanings, they offer an incredible strength and complexity while expressing universal, mystical truths. This spiritual reference transforms the haptic space of these works just as it has revealed its truth over the centuries in architecture, tiles, stucco, wood, fabric, stained glass and metal art. The geometric designs intertwine with contemporary, vivid, swirling forms and colors creating a magical, shimmering kaleidoscopic effect. The intense energy of light and color stimulates the viewer’s eye allowing for meaningful, transformative meditations and transcendent discoveries by the mind, spirt and emotions.